Netflix has unveiled the first look at Age of Samurai – a series that looks more like an action flick than a documentary.
The streamer has dropped the first trailer (above) for the six-part series, which is produced by Canadian production company Cream Productions.
The series looks at the warring kingdoms of feudal Japan in the 16th Century – the Sengoku period – a time of ubiquitous civil war, social unrest and political intrigue.
It tells the story of Date Masamune, a notorious samurai known as the ‘One-Eyed Dragon’ who fought alongside the three founding fathers of Japan – warlords who led fierce armies of samurai against each other to unite the nation 400 years ago. His is thought to have been the inspiration for the design of Darth Vader’s iconic helmet. As a child he infamously plucked out his own eye when it became infected with smallpox, murdered his younger brother to ensure his line of succession, succeeded his father when he was 17 and soon after conquered neighboring clans to unite most of northern Japan under his control.
Simon George, who has exec-ed Nat Geo’s Jason Silva-fronted Origins: The Journey of Humankind and History’s Barbarians Rising, and Matthew Booi, who has worked on ID’s Fear Thy Neighbor, are showrunners and exec produce alongside Cream CEO David Brady and Cream President Kate Harrison Karman. Stephen Scott directs.
Brady said that the show takes a “deep dive” into an era of history that “most audiences know very little about”. “Viewers might have a sense that a samurai is one of the most iconic warriors in history, but I think viewers will be amazed to learn about the incredibly violent but duty-bound society, in which the samurais lived,” he added.
Harrison Karman added, “Trying to tell the entire history of the Warring States period is impossible, so we decided to focus on what we felt was one its most compelling parts. We explored the incredible story of how three men, from totally different backgrounds, tried to end a brutal civil war and finally reunite the nation. This approach allowed us really to come at the problem from a personal level and tell a story about honor, friendship, duty and betrayal instead of relying solely on politics and strategy.”